Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Court Unseals Documents In Ivins Anthrax Case

Following the suicide of Dr. Bruce Ivins, small details of the FBI's "Ameritharx" case of him have been leaking. The FBI just announced that the Court has unsealed some of the documents in the case, and in particular, the Search Warrant affadavits that set forth the basis for the FBI's suspicion of Dr. Ivins.

This from the affidavit 8-433, the final affadavit for a search warrant in regards to Dr. Ivins prior to his death:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (hereinafter "Task Force") investigation of the anthrax attacks has led to the identification of Dr. Bruce Edward Ivins, an anthrax researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD (hereinafter "USAMRIID"), as a person necessitating further investigation for several reasons:

(1) At the time of the attacks, he was the custodian of a large flask of highly purified anthrax spores that possess certain genetic mutations identical to the anthrax used in the attacks;

(2) Ivins has been unable to give investigators an adequate explanation for his late night laboratory work hours around the time of both anthrax mailings;

(3) Ivins has claimed that he was suffering serious mental health issues in the months preceding the attacks, and told a coworker that he had "incredible paranoid, delusional thoughts at times" and feared that he might not be able to control his behavior;

(4) Ivins is believed to have submitted false samples of anthrax from his lab to the FBI for forensic analysis in order to mislead investigators;

(5) at the time of the attacks, Ivins was under pressure at work to assist a private company that had lost its FDA approval to produce an anthrax vaccine the Army needed for U.S. troops, and which Ivins believed was essential for the anthrax program at USAMRIID; and

(6) Ivins sent an email to [redacted] a few days before the anthax attacks warning [redacted] "Bin Laden terrorists or sure lave anthrax and sarin gas" and have "just decreed death to ail Jews and all Americans," language similar to the anthrax letters warning "WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX . . . DEATH TO AMERICA . . . DEATH TO ISRAEL."

In his affidavit dated October 3 1,2007, submitted in support of an initial search of the residence and vehicles of Bruce Edwards Ivins, Supervisory Postal Inspector Thomas F. Delafera described in greater detail information regarding Bruce Edwards Ivins, and his probable connection to the anthrax mailings. I hereby incorporate this affidavit by reference herein. See Exhibit A.

You can find the affadavit here and all documents released here. It certainly sounds as if the FBI was on its way to building a viable case against Mr. Ivins, contrary to statements from Mr. Ivins's attorney. His protestations to the contrary sounded like he was laying the groundwork for a case against the government.

Much more on this from NPR (H/T Hot Air)

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